It is very rare to have a hero win you over within the first few pages of a book, but Gossamer‘s James Cameron Craig manages to do just that. From the moment he gets up in the middle of the night to check on a weeping woman next door, James starts to win the heart of the reader. And when he admits to being one who follows his heart more than his head, this reader was completely won over. The heroine, Elizabeth Sadler, never stands a chance. James is a tortured hero, but one with much to offer, and he makes this a very enjoyable read.
Elizabeth has come to San Francisco to visit her brother but arrives after he has died. She has been disowned by her family and is now alone and nearly broke in a strange city. James is next door at the hotel when he hears her crying. James cannot stand to listen to a woman cry and he comforts her when she needs it most. The next day she is gone but James is determined to find her. He needs a governess and he decides that only Elizabeth will do. James has a very special family. He has taken in three Chinese girls who were destined to be killed because they were not boys. Much of the story centers on the practice of infanticide involving Chinese girls. Due to a past tragedy, James cannot sit idly by and let this happen. He is allowed to take care of thesee children and does so lovingly and with great determination – he’s a hero in every sense of the word.
In the beginning, Elizabeth seems to hold the same prejudices against Chinese people as the rest of the society. Her attitude is off-putting at first, but if you keep her background in perspective and give Elizabeth some room, she comes through admirably. James’ love for his children and her love for him come shining through as well, and she grows to love the children very quickly. She decides to keep an open mind and realizes that James’ “Treasures,” as he calls them, are victims of society and circumstance. I did feel that she overcame her issues with the children a little quickly and without too much explanation, but it did not detract much from the overall story.
James and Elizabeth fall in love very quickly and powerfully. Their attraction is instantaneous and mutual. That spark is definitely there and it’s an extremely moving romance. They both have problems to overcome, however. James has to stop blaming himself for the past and be willing to take hold of his future and Elizabeth. James is healed through not only Elizabeth’s love, but the love of his daughters. The only other problem I had is with James’ oldest, Ruby. Ruby is extremely jealous of Elizabeth and wants nothing to do with her. This is understandable but her about-face at the end of the book is so sudden and convenient that it’s not completely believable. This and the glossing over of Elizabeth’s prejudice keep the book from being an A. If you do not like children in your romances, you may not like the book, but I encourage all to read it. It is a moving and emotional love story, but it also has humor and a wonderful host of characters.